Well after 6 months of lock down due to Covid-19 and after a long break of writing, I thought I should write something now. Honestly there is no such lock-down now in New Delhi, where I live and we all are getting used to the “new normal”. No Cinemas, no metros. no commercial flights so no air travelling and no such free life yet. But life is pretty much functioning with masks on. Today I was going through some old photos so realized that I never reported about such work we did just before lock down. From 8th February to 13th February I was travelling in Myanmar for work purposes. I was invited to train staff of Amava Group (Clothing factory) in Myanmar. I traveled between Pathein and Yangun for training of more than 1500 employees on "Conscious Consumerism and sustainable living". Also we managed to prepare the Sustainability Management Plan for two factories of Amava Group in Myanmar. It was a very tight 5 days working from dawn to Dusk and travelling from one place to the other. Of course the unknown situation of spreading the virus made us a bit nervous but it was a good opportunity for me to make the participants understand about Eco-centric thinking and the value of respecting all forms of lives on this planet under “true sustainability”.
|The trained Management staff in Myanmar|
The enthusiasm of trainees was so great and I saw the positive changes they made even on the same day and the following day. Such as refusing drinking instant coffee available in Sachet packets, refusing bottled water and instant food, bringing their lunch in reusable containers, immediate start of bringing a reusable water bottle from home. It’s amazing to see the willingness of change towards a healthy life and healthy management within the factories. when the general awareness for factory workers took place using huge screens and multimedia in the full packed house with translations happening, still the audience was patiently paying attention and I had no issue of keeping their attention towards the talk. All were enthusiastically listening for one hour and even I was flooded with questions after the sessions.
In between the training sessions I had a fruitful meeting with the Eco Temple team who happened to be in Yangon and it was so nice to meet colleagues and discuss our upcoming conference in October. Had the great opportunity to meet the high priest at Oxford Buddhist Temple in Yangon with fellow eco temple team mates. Also I was able to visit the world famous Shwadagon Pagoda.
Most Venerable Dhammasami Thero
Eco Temple team with Most Venerable Dhammasami Thero
After finishing a tiring but satisfying tour in Myanmar I traveled to Sri Lanka via Bangkok.It was tensed but fully packed flights and had to go through temperature screening and filling health forms at airports. Looking back today, what an experience I had in Myanmar just before all went very wrong by March!!! It was my first travel experience with a mask on and I was feeling very uncomfortable (today it has become a part of the body).I arrived in Sri Lanka on the 13th February and here again the next step of training sessions started on 14th. It was the same group of companies where Mr. Prasanna Jayasinghe is the CEO. So I concocted the same training in two more factories. General awareness of “Conscious consumerism and Sustainable living” for factory staff and then “True Sustainable Management” for Management staff along with preparing the Green management plan. It was another 1500 more staff members who participated within two days of training.
|Training for Management staff of the factory|
|One of the largest crowds I have addressed in the recent past|
After the fully packed weekend with talking and discussing I had no time to have a break and went to Galle to conduct another workshop on Zero Waste Lifestyle and Ecobricking on the following day. Then another workshop on Sustainable Waste Management and Ecobriking at Diyasaru Park, Thalawathugoda.
A bench made out of ecobricks at the end of the workshop
Thanks to the beginning of pandemic situation it was the high time to explain the shift of thinking "Ego to Eco" thinking and acting. It was easy to explain about the rights of each and every "being" of the world taking the Corona Virus as example and how we should co-op up with it (just after the training in February everything changed in the world but I feel what I said was still relevant.
Today I see myself having too long break of 6 months without travelling and just being at home but still working remotely, conducting webinars for the same topics, having virtual meetings and working with kids via zoom and telling them how to connect with Nature even at this difficult time. Oh well…..what a life?? Who thought of being locked down like this, globally!!!